If you are already an Assessor, you might be considering becoming an Internal Quality Assurer (IQA), as this is quite a natural progression for those looking to advance their assessing career. Before we look at what you can do with a lead IQA qualification, let’s have a quick reminder about how to become a Lead IQA and the role it entails.
What is IQA?
Internal Quality Assurance is a process that ensures assessment activities have been carried out in a consistent, fair, and also safe manner. By putting a standardised system in place, each aspect of teaching, learning and assessment is monitored throughout the apprenticeship. It is important that IQA doesn’t just occur at the end of an apprenticeship, or following completion, but throughout.
Internal Quality Assurers are often supervisors or managers, as they are normally responsible for staff, systems and procedures. Becoming an IQA doesn’t mean that you have to quit your role as an Assessor; you can still perform both roles in your chosen field of expertise. As long as you obviously don’t IQA your own assessment decisions that is fine!
The Role Of An IQA
You are probably bored of us talking about the role of an IQA, but if you are considering this as a career it is important to understand what you are letting yourself in for. A normal day in the life of an IQA is quite varied, which makes the job exciting in itself. Some of the core tasks that you will be carrying out include:
- Supporting trainers and Assessors, providing them with constructive feedback.
- Planning which parts of assessments will be monitored, and creating a schedule for this monitoring.
- Sampling assessment records, learners’ work and assessment decisions to check for fairness and consistency.
- Creating strategies for standardisation and equal practise in assessment.
Before we move onto the qualifications required to become an IQA, it is worth mentioning that there are a few important qualities that an IQA needs to be. If you are assertive, have great attention to detail, are personable, unbiased and are ready to step back from interaction with the learners themselves, this could be the perfect role for you.
Qualifications To Become An IQA
There are currently 3 IQA qualifications that you can take, but only 2 of these will actually qualify you to Quality Assure. The first qualification is more knowledge-based – the Level 4 Award in Understanding the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice. This Award will provide you with the knowledge behind IQA, and is great if you are wanting to boost your Continued Professional Development (CPD).
The second qualification which is the next step up is the Level 4 Award in the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices. This is the equivalent to the old Internal Verifiers qualification, and allows you to quality assure assessments and assessment decisions. This won’t qualify you to become a lead IQA though. By completing this qualification you will be able to:
- Plan the IQA of assessments
- Maintain good practice when monitoring and maintaining the quality of assessment
- Manage information relevant to the Internal Quality Assurance of assessment
- Internally evaluate, maintain and improve the quality of assessments
Finally, the qualification that will enable you to become a lead IQA is the Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice. This will give you all the skills necessary to quality assure qualifications, as well as managing the whole quality assurance process.
What Roles You Can Carry Out
Once you have achieved the Lead IQA qualification, there are lots of different avenues you can take when it comes to your career. Salaries in the profession can reach as high as £35K per year. Plus, IQA professionals are also able to work in several different industries. Most tend to move onto careers in learning and development, where they will be responsible for monitoring teaching and learning processes.
Depending on the sector in which you are occupationally competent in, there are lots of different career opportunities once you are a fully qualified IQA. You can always shadow an IQA if you aren’t sure whether it is something you would like to progress into.
For more information on how to become an IQA, please feel free to contact the friendly team at Brooks and Kirk on 01205 805155.